Prevention is Better Than a Cure - Beauty Addict

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Prevention is Better Than a Cure

This is a long post but I promise you it's worth it, especially if you're into skincare.

Over the last few weeks I've been test driving the new anti-aging night cream from Prevage, the superpowered collaboration between Elizabeth Arden and Allergan. I remember when the original Prevage made its debut, with those somewhat mysterious ads that depicted the fine orange powder that is the product's key ingredient, idebenone.


I knew nothing of this ingredient so I decided to do a little research before putting it on my face. Turns out idebenone is a powerful antioxidant discovered in the 1980's and first used as a treatment for Alzheimer's disease, due to its potency in preventing cell damage. Based on Arden/Allergan's research, the compound is more effective at protecting your skin from environmental damage than alpha lipoic acid, kinetin, CoQ10, vitamin C, and some of the other hot ingredient names being tossed around these days.

This piqued my interest, but raised a red flag, too. This is a synthetic compound discovered only 20 years ago? Does "discovered" mean "cooked up in a lab?" Sure it might work, but what about long term side effects? For example, we know that hydroquinone lightens skin pigmentation, but it's been banned in Europe as it's suspected to have carcinogenic effects. What if the case is the same for idebenone, and there just hasn't been enough time to study its long term effects?

Then there's the question of the idebenone molecule being 60% smaller than a CoQ10 molecule. Smaller molecules penetrate the skin better, but they also might allow those active ingredients to get into your bloodstream. Is this a bad thing? ...Or, is it a GOOD thing for the rest of the cells in your body? I couldn't find anything to tell me either way. Maybe I was just being cynical when I opened the package. Like I said, I couldn't find anything to actually substantiate these doomsday scenarios rattling around my head.

I decided to take the plunge and try out the Prevage anyway. After all, with most "bad things" one would have to use quite a bit of them to see any ill effects. Now, on to the good stuff.

The first plus for the nighttime version of Prevage is the dispenser. You get the look of a jar but the hygienic benefit of a pump. Just push down on the little button and the perfect amount of cream pops up!

Since my skin tends to be on the sensitive side, I followed the test usage instructions to the letter, doing a patch test on my arm for 3 days. The days went by without incident and I started applying Prevage to my face every night. After only a week my skin felt smoother and firmer. Now, several weeks later, it's even more smooth and firm, and it looks brighter and more even, too. There's less redness in my pale, near-translucent skin that normally amplifies even a smidge of redness. The rough patches around my nose and near my chin are gone.

I'm young enough not to have wrinkles so I can't comment on any wrinkle-reversal properties that this product might have. But, I truly believe that prevention is better than a cure (hence the post title), so I'm going to continue using this in the hopes that it keeps wrinkles at bay for as long as possible! The results so far are definitely enough to keep me hooked, at least until this jar is gone.

Downside? Like all "designer" creams these days, Prevage night carries a hefty price tag ($125). And I've heard that more than a few users have had nasty reactions like rashes and hives. If you decide to use this, see if you can snag a sample and PLEASE do the patch test!

Other than that, I've got to say that I love this product. I don't often endorse skincare products (there are far fewer skincare posts on this blog than most other categories) because I hate upsetting my routine to try them, but I'm really happy I took the plunge with Prevage.

Have you tried any of the Prevage products? What did you think?